McCullum has colleagues' respect
The only opinion that will ultimately matter on the future of USF men's basketball coach Robert McCullum is that of athletic director Doug Woolard, but after Saturday night's loss to DePaul, another league coach opened his postgame comments with an unsolicited endorsement of McCullum.
Just as Marquette's Tom Crean had done when the Bulls nearly knocked off the Golden Eagles, DePaul's Jerry Wainwright had this to say before he mentioned anything about his team:
"First of all, I go way back with Coach McCullum. He's a credit to our profession. Such a solid family guy, teaches his kids all the right things. His team has made tremendous improvements. I honestly don't know if I could really sustain the type of attitude he sustains with all the injuries. This program has had more things happen to it ... it's really at ground level in terms of rebuilding. He's got young guards playing. I think he's the type of guy that's going to attract some players. Right now, the frontcourt is a very strong, physical frontcourt, but there's a little bit of inexperience in the backcourt. I've been there, and it's not easy."
DePaul's a team on the NCAA bubble, so Wainwright could use every minute he has with a microphone and camera on him to say good things about his players. Instead, he talks about McCullum. I can already script a comment here saying that Big East coaches would like a colleague who's 4-25 since joining the league, and I understand that, but I don't think that was the case with Crean or Wainwright.
I bring that up just because I didn't get to post anything after Saturday night's game, and I'm busy working at the Panera at Fowler and Bruce B. Downs (long live free wireless) when I bump into McCullum himself, getting a quick lunch. One way or another, it'll be an interesting next few weeks for USF basketball.
Speaking of which, Tuesday night's crowd for the women's game with Connecticut will be the largest in the program's history, with more than 3,600 tickets already sold. The record of 3,702 was set when the Huskies last came to Tampa in December 2002, and officials expect the final number Tuesday to be in the 4,000s. Sounds like USF's fraternities and sororities will be out in full force, as attending this game is apparently including as part of Greek Week on campus. ...